We are all anxious to gather together again soon. Our desire is to proceed with wisdom, considering the needs of our entire congregation. Resources and consideration has been given to suggestions by Christian Law Association, Family Research Council, Center for Disease Control, National Center for Life and Liberty, other churches, our insurance company, as well as National, State, and County recommendations. Our plan includes the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Our goal is to maintain a good witness to our surrounding community.
Before opening the building will be deep cleaned and sanitized, especially everything that can be touched. Hand sanitizing stations will be available and we encourage people to use them. Please do not attend if you have a temperature or any flu like symptoms. Between services building will continue to be sanitized. We will continue to implement social distancing protocols. We ask for non-contact greetings. Greeters will remain six feet from guests. Ushers will not be holding doors open or shaking hands. Doors on south side will be locked open when weather permits. Bulletins will not be provided. Announcements will be scrolling on PowerPoint. Bibles and songbooks will not be available in back of pew.
Initially seating will be in family groups utilizing every other pew. Parking will be every other parking space. We will ask everyone to be considerate, respectful and kind of the concerns of others: distance, masks, etc… If you prefer to wear a mask that is great, but we ask for you to provide and bring it with you. If you prefer to not wear a mask that is great. Mask will not be provided at the church, and not everyone will be wearing them.
Initially there will be limits on how many may use the bathroom (every other stall and sink) and volunteers wearing mask will be asked to sanitize handles and monitor between services. We will ask for volunteers to help with ongoing sanitization during services. We will not be passing an offering plate. If you prefer to give at church a box will be placed at the back of the auditorium. Nurseries and child care will not be provided in beginning phases. We encourage you to continue safety protocols of washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes.
We are following Johnson county’s timeline for each phase to eliminate as much confusion as possible. Johnson county is currently one week behind the state of Kansas. Their time schedule is listed as tentative.
Phase One: Begins May 11, 2020 and last a minimum of two weeks. This phase really doesn’t help us at all. Limits are still at ten people. We will continue with our online ministries, and emails. However, as long as large numbers don’t come at once, you are welcome to come by and pray in the church auditorium as long as you maintain social distancing protocols.
Phase Two: Begins on the same day our county begins phase two. Limits are lifted to 30 people. This doesn’t help us very much either. However, smaller classes and youth activities and meetings under 30 can begin. We are asking that social distancing be maintained and respected.
Phase Three: Again coordinating with county’s stage three phase. Limits are lifted to 90 people. This is when we will begin to gather on Sunday mornings again. If you do the math, it will be “at least” six weeks from the beginning of phase one. Our current soft opening plan is to start with three services: There will be no Sunday evening services at the church or online during the time we are offering the three morning services. Wednesday Bible studies will continue online. 11:00 a.m. live streaming will continue.
8:00 a.m. – Only for those 65 and older, or those in an at risk category, (with the exception of Pastor and staff). If you feel you have a health risk we would encourage you to return only when you feel safe.
9:30 a.m. – The rest of the congregation will be divided into two groups. It is okay if your child remains with you in the service. We would ask that after the service you exit quickly in order to provide time for the next service. We ask for no congregating in the foyer and to continue social distancing. We still will not yet be offering nursery and preschool ministries.
11:00 a.m. – Same as above. After the 2nd week of phase three Children’s Church will be held for 1st through 5th grade in the upstairs foyer while maintaining social distancing and safety protocols.
Phase Four: Return to all normal scheduled services and activities! This will be our 2nd Easter! Sunday School will resume as well as children’s ministries. Sanitization, safety and social protocols will be initially maintained. Traffic flow in hallways will be one direction to help with distancing. 11:00 a.m. live streaming will continue. More details for phase four will be provided as we draw closer.
We believe this plan provides for the safety of those who are ready to return to worship. Your prayers are appreciated as we continue to navigate through these unusual times. Some things will have to be adjusted as we move forward. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”
Love you all, and long to see you,